Kettle whistles, “Habit now,”
Seems to sing its wistful tune
Sixty years, the ready sound
Sixty years, tea at noon…
My maternal grandparents were immigrants from
As a child, I loved visiting her, because she was an eccentric woman with artistic tendencies. She’d draw and write songs and poems, and entertained us for hours with the stories she made up, that literally lasted for weeks. They’d be continued on our next visit, while we longed to hear the end of her tales. During the winter, she’d bundle us up with her in a huge blanket, and sit with us on the rug, telling us we’d be like “the Babes in the Woods.” While we didn't really know who the babes in the woods were, when she said that, we knew we were about to be transported into her imaginary world of handsome lads and lovely lasses being swept away to balls, like something out of Jane Austen, through the machinations of the little old women who populated her stories.
But the thing I enjoyed the most with grandma was afternoon Tea. She baked every single day, and while the smells of oatmeal cookies and orange marmalade would emanate from her kitchen, she’d put a kettle on for a spot of tea. Her cups and saucers were lovely china, and she had utensils that had real ivory handles on them. The aromas and warm steam coming up from the cups are images and rituals I will always associate with her. She made me a tea lover for life.
"A Proper Tea is much nicer than a Very Nearly Tea, which is one you forget about afterwords." (-AA Milne)